Sorry about the delay in posting the Venice photos! It's been busy -- Sally Collins visited our guild and I took two full-day classes from her and attended an evening lecture. Wow! I'll post more on that later, but for now, here's Venice.
This is from the exterior of St. Mark's (San Marco) in Venice. I have never seen anything like it -- truly amazing. Although I can't say I enjoy standing in line to get in, it does provide an opportunity to look very carefully at the things around you. There's so much to see that it's nice to be forced to stand and look. The pinkish colors in the stones give the exterior such a warm feel. Click on the photos to enlarge them and see the detail.
This exterior is actually part of the Doge's palace, which is attached to the basilica. (This is immediately to the right of the preceding photo.) The brickwork is a patchwork pattern. I looked at the pattern carefully, and every now and then the alternating greys and pinks in the interior of the "blocks" do not follow the pattern. It makes it more interesting, and I am assuming it was intentional.
I love this wall -- it's a quilt in marble.
Here you can see the elegant pillars with the subtle yet stunning colors from the marble.
The most amazing thing about the basilica is the floors. Unfortunately, they don't let you take any pictures inside. I ended up buying a book, The Floors of Venice by Tudy Sammartini, which has both English and Italian text in the same book. It was expensive, but for a book with so many color photos, it was well worth it. I wanted to put a link to Amazon for anyone interested in purchasing it, but they only have scalper-priced used ones. You can, however, order it here for what I paid for it in Italy, although I don't know what the postage will be.
This is a two-page spread from the book. I was thinking how drafting it into a quilt would be a formidable task, but when I looked for the book online, I see that someone has already made it into a quilt. Check it out here. Incredible! [Edit - oops! Just realized the quilt is not exactly this floor, but it's a similar design and is from Venice.]
Here's another photo from the book. The entire basilica is filled with the most amazing floors! It's a quilter's paradise.
Venice is more than San Marco's, of course. I could never live in a city without cars or trees (truly odd, especially at night), but I could visit again and again. The contrast between Amsterdam and Venice was so strong that it was a day before it occurred to me that both are cities built on canals. They could not be more different. I loved them both.